Restaurants & Bars

WaSa Sushi in Irvine - The Excellent Treasures

kevin | Feb 10, 200312:36 PM     4

I think me and others have sung the praises of Wasa before, but I must repeat that this place is really very, very good after going there again last week. The atmosphere and decor is very nice almost to sleek looking for a sushi bar (where Nozawa, Echigo, and Wasabe have the decor of a blighted McDonald's) and no minimalism to speak of. Also, the sushi bar is way too long for a place that serves excellent sushi, but don't let that steer you away. First of all, make sure you are seated in chef James section of the sushi bar. The usual traditional sushi suspects are all very good and of the highest quality (if I'm not mistaken he gets the goods shipped in from True World fish co. in downtown los angeles). But you came mostly for the WaSa Treasures, which are the usual pair of fish gussied up with a unique sauce that complements the fish very well. Also, many of the Treasures are lightly torch-seared. So that there is the most minimal of searing on the top layer of the fish.

Try anyone of the treasures. But I am partial to the excellent seared toro with a well-modulated ponzu sauce, the yellowtail with jalapeno and ponzu (possibly a matsuhisa-inspired dish?), the jumbo scallops in wasabi-sour cream sauce, the scallops with ginger and mushrooms, the scallops in sweet (not too sweet) miso sauce, the ahi tuna in wasabi sour cream sauce, and the albacore sushi in a special sauce. These are all excellent. To tell you the truth, I never bypassed the treasures for the cooked dishes or other cold dishes, but they do have a wide selection of the cooked stuff like boneless beef shortribs and a sliced ribeye steak in a teriyaki sauce (both of which sound pretty interesting) among the usual teriyaki style items for the particularly sushiphobic.

I haven't tried it, but they do also have a pretty serious wine list, at least for a sushi bar (if we're not including shibucho on beverly or the sushiko in d.c.). there are lots of reds and whites and by the glass stuff. not a wine conneiseur so don't know if it's any good, but there was some niebaum-coppola on the list. Also, the sake list is pretty substantial with over five or so premium, high end sakes in addition to the house hot and cold sakes.

desserts here are not too interesting, but it's getting slightly better. last time i was there, they had a green tea cheesecake, which was interesting, but not incredibly good. There was more emphasis on the cake rather than the cheese. Oh, well, you can't have everything.

Lastly, the prices are not too too atrocious. About what you would pay for a meal at Nozawa or Wasabe) if you're going the sushi route at WaSa, if your're going the cooked entree route it is loads upon loads cheaper. Count on about fifty or sixty bucks per person for the WaSa treasures. Also, as a reminder, this place is not an omakase type place so you do your own ordering.

try it and post back. you'll probably like it very much. good eatin.

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